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Once a hospital, now a home in White Plains

Bristal White Plains

Business development director Susan Yubas shows an apartment in converted hospital space at the newly opened Bristal at White Plains.

“Look what we’ve done with this building,” said Susan Yubas, leading a recent tour through the former St. Agnes Hospital at 305 North St. in White Plains. “This was an abandoned building, essentially, for so long.”

Designed by architect David Mammina for its Long Island-based developer, The Engel Burman Group, the four-story, 150,000-square-foot main hospital building has been transformed into The Bristal at White Plains, a luxury assisted living residence for up to 190 area residents over the age of 65. The redeveloped facility, estimated to cost $34.4 million when Engel Burman took over the project in a joint venture in 2009, includes 148 apartments, most of them studio and one-bedroom units, richly and colorfully designed by Amy Woodman and her W Design Group in Massachusetts. Thirty-two residences are on a secure memory care wing, named “Reflections,” reserved for persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s a combination of living in an apartment building and living in a boutique hotel,” said Yubas, director of business development for Engel Burman at The Bristal at White Plains. The building’s many amenities include a 40-seat cinema, fitness center, hair salon, arts and crafts studio, Las Vegas-style bingo room, card and game room, library, business center for still-working residents, reserved private dining room for family get-togethers, wellness center and a heated outdoor pool to be built this year.

The Bristal at White Plains marks the entry of the privately owned Engel Burman into the Westchester market, a potentially lucrative one in an affluent and aging county whose over-60 population is expected to rise 34 percent by 2030. Headquartered in Garden City, Engel Burman owns and operates seven Bristal assisted living communities on Long Island since launching the brand in 1999.

Yubas said the developer could break ground in the first quarter this year on its planned $38 million, 115,000-square-foot Bristal facility on Business Park Drive in Armonk. With several more facilities in contract or in development in the tristate area, the company plans to double the size of its Bristal portfolio by 2014.

The Long Island developer first ventured into the Westchester market in 2009 in a partnership with North Street Community L.L.C., which five years earlier paid $21.4 million for the 23-acre hospital campus. North Street Community’s plans to build a condominium community on the campus for seniors able to live independently were approved in 2007 by White Plains city officials but stalled in the recession and credit crisis. The developer, though, did complete a $4 million renovation of a former hospital building next door to the Bristal site as the Westchester Medical Pavilion, a medical office complex said to be about 90 percent leased.

At the Bristal, monthly rates range from $4,600 for a studio to $5,900 for one-bedroom apartments. Rates include three restaurant-style meals a day, utilities and staff services directed by a registered nurse. In the memory care wing, monthly rates range from $6,900 to $7,900.

Yubas said about 30 residents have moved into the facility since its opening in late November and more are due to arrive this winter. Residents bring their own furniture. All are required to have medical assessments before moving in. The community, said Yubas, is not designed for persons needing medical services from skilled professionals seven days a week.

The Bristal will employ about 100 workers, Yubas said. “We staff based upon the needs of the population,” she said.

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About The Author

John Golden
Westchester Bureau Chief

The Business Journal’s senior writer, John Golden directs news coverage of the county and Hudson Valley region as Westchester bureau chief. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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